Someone who works a ‘9-5’ job recently went to Costco on a Monday afternoon and reported to me they were shocked at how busy it was. The place was wall-to-wall, I was told. He asked me how come none of these people (other than the staff) were working on a Monday afternoon?
And so, true to form, I will give you a primer on this aspect of the workforce.
According to the 2016 Census, across Canada there were 28.6 million people aged 15 and older and of that group, 9.3 million didn’t work at all during the year (32%), only 34% worked full time/full year (the so called 9-5) and the rest worked either full time/part year (18%), part time/full year (5%) or part time/part year (11%).
In New Brunswick, the ratios are similar - we have slightly fewer that worked at all (65%) likely due partly to age or even lack of need.
So what does this mean? It means that on a typical Monday afternoon, as only about one-third of people are in FT/FY work, theoretically upwards of 2/3 of the adult population could be going to Costco. There certainly would be some adults in part time work on that Monday afternoon but there would also be some FT workers on vacation, playing hooky, etc.
We have some of this data for cities, towns and villages (Census Sub-divisions). As you will see from the chart below, only 17% of adults in Guysborough municipal district worked full time/full year in 2015 and only 13% in Shippagan.
The New Brunswick record goes to little old Sainte-Marie-Saint-Raphaël - also in the Peninsula. In 2015, only 8% of the adult population worked full time and full year. Contrast that with Fort McMurray (Wood Buffalo) where 54% work full time and full year.
If Costco ever gets around to setting up in the Acadian Peninsula, this will require a staffing model they are not used to (in Moncton 37% of adults work full time/full year).
Of course, you will say I should back out the 15 year olds and the 65+, etc. to get to a more accurate picture of the share of workers employed on a FT/FY basis. But, remember the question, I was asked why Costco would be filled on a Monday afternoon.
I believe this has provided the answer.
I think this illustrates where the burden of the cost of government lies, and where to concentrate efforts if we want a more equitable and financially secure society. Most retired seniors pay little tax, and seasonal employess collect more EI than they pay in taxes. If we want to improve our lot, then we must increase opportunities for our work force in places where they don't exist, and increase the work force where they do. Those are the taxpayers who make our free society possible. Your "It's the Economy, Stupid!" crusade is on the right track.
And the Costco analogy brings us to the present inflation panic. It seems our government has little or no control over inflation, and it is unlikely they are the principal cause; so how do we accept the inevitable reality of price fluctuations and make hay for the horses of our economy using the grass of inflation? The only answer government has to inflation is rising interest rates and restrictinging the money supply (read slower the economy, increased unemployment,lower wages), so how do we as a region minimize or eliminate the negative impact, and perhaps profit from what could become a recession? How does immigration help or hurt us in that scenario?